Five Ways to Stay Fit at Work
It is Good for Business!!
As a Civil Engineer for 25 years and more recently online entrepreneur and personal trainer, I have spent many working hours at a desk and computer. I have experienced pain and tightness in my back, shoulders and legs that may have been prevented. The effects of a sedentary lifestyle is talked about all over the media and at some time or another has affected most of us. Symptoms of sitting for much of the day include leg and gluteal muscle loss and disfunction, lower back pain, weight gain, and a number of chronic illnesses including diabetes, depression and anxiety, and deep vein thrombosis. This list is not exhaustive, but I am sure you already know this and have felt and experienced a few of them.
Today, I want to inspire you to take action and incorporate several simple ways to stay fit and active during work hours. Whether you are an attorney or a nanny, artist or school teacher, taking time to add a little self care for your own body, is good for business. Your greatest asset is your body and keeping it moving without pain can be one of your new priorities. I am going to give you 5 ways to stay fit at work. These are quick, easy, and available to anyone reading this article.
Excuses Can Stop your Progress
Before I get into the exercises, let me just mention a few excuses you may be thinking in your own mind.
“I have no time.”
“My body is tired.”
“Exercise is boring.”
“I hurt myself last time I worked out.”
As a personal trainer, I have heard many excuses, when I try to get folks into an exercise routine. So, I just want to say, I have been there:
I literally have no time. I work as an engineer, teach 10 exercise classes a week, have 3-4 personal clients a week, have a 17 year old daughter I homeschool, have a husband of 30 years, sing in a band and lead worship for my church, and help take care of my 78 year old mother and brother. So, yes I understand about having no time.
I have been exhausted and without energy, while caring for and homeschooling my 5 kids. A number of years ago, when I started exercising, I found had more energy and I felt better mentally.
I never really hated exercise, but I have found it boring and tedious. So, I try to find a fun way to do it and connect with others while exercising.
I have been in pain. After I had my twins, 25 years ago, I developed lower back and hip issues and lost some mobility, until I started stretching and moving. I now enjoy a pain free body and thank my body daily for still moving.
Using Tiny Habits to get Started
Adding something new into your daily routine is just about priority. I am sure you business meetings are pretty high up your priority list. What happens when your body decides to stop because of pain or other physical issues? Your business stops as well. Hopefully you agree, keeping your body fit and active is definitely good for business. Moving your body up the priority level in your daily schedule will help and prosper every area of your life!! Add one thing at a time, make is simple, and make it fun.
One way to do this is add one thing each week, then it becomes a Tiny Habit. I first found out about Tiny Habits from a friend and she recommended the book Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg. You can easily tack on a small habit on to a habit that you have established at work. For example, as you check your emails, do a shoulder or neck stretch. Between meetings, take a quick walk outside and have some mindful time to restore and rejuvenate your mind. Take the stairs instead of the elevator as you go to your next appointment.
Five Ways to Stay Fit during Work Hours
- Now, here are the 5 ways to stay fit at work and keep your business moving…
1. Stretching – At your desk, during your break wherever you are do these short stretches.
a) Stand – close your eyes and breathe in for 5 counts and then out for 5 counts.
b) Stand – draw your shoulders to your ears and drop them down towards the floor.
c) Stand – roll each shoulder back 3 times and then forward 3 times.
d) Stand feet wide – bend your knee and lunge side to side.
e) Stand – feet back together, put palms together in front of your chest and push. Lower palms while pushing and stretch out the fingers.
- Walking – Take 10 minutes outside and walk in nature. Pay attention to the colors and look for new colors. Notice what you see and the beauty it reflects. Become aware of the variety of shapes in nature. Be present and aware. Be grateful.
- Cardio – Find a quiet place and listen to your favorite music. Pick from several calisthenics exercises, exercises that just require your body weight, listed below. Perform for 10 minutes. Download a timer app or use the one on your phone. (Modify with low impact, keep one foot on the floor at all times. Look up exercises prior to attempting.)
a) March to warm up, pump the arms.
b) Jumping Jacks
d) Jump Squats
e) Pushups – on furniture or the wall
f) Tricep dips – on a stable chair
- Functional Movement – When you are going about your daily routine, look for ways to activate more muscles.
a) Park far away from the door of the building you have your meeting at, so you can get your walk in. Or Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Your legs will thank you someday!!
b) While picking something up, use your legs and squat. As you squat, pay attention to two things: 1) Make sure the knees are not going beyond the end of the toes, and 2) Push into the heels to lift your body up.
c) When you have to reach for something high, work your calves by lifting your heels and do 20 lifts. In addition, reach and stretch your arm to get the item and use the other arm as well.
d) Walking the trash can down to the driveway? Do is several times adding a little fun with music on your phone on the side.
e) While babysitting, play chase or hide and seek with your little one. You are creating fun for everyone and getting fit and active while getting your business at hand done.
- Seated exercises – While traveling or in a meeting and you can’t stand up, incorporate these seated exercises every hour. Use your watch or Fitbit to quietly alert you to move your legs, arms, back and neck.
a) March in place – Alternate lifting each leg and add some of these movements…ankle circles, straighten leg, point toe, flex foot, toes to the left, toes to the right…get creative.
b) Roll neck – Perform neck circles, left, back, right, front. Remember, there should be no neck pain, so avoid compressing the vertebra in the neck area by dropping your neck too far back.
c) Hip stretch – Stretch one knee forward, release. Stretch the other knee forward, release. This stretches the hip flexors which can get very tight while sitting for long periods of time.
d) Back Curl – In your seat, curl your shoulders over pushing your back into the seat you are in. I call it, hug a ball with your abs.
e) Forearm Stretches – To help with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and tight wrists and forearms from typing perform these stretches 2-3 times a day.
- One straight arm – Grab your fingers and thumb with the other hand, pull the fingers and thumb down towards the floor and hold for 15-20 seconds. Then pull the fingers and thumb back towards your chest and hold for 15 -20 seconds
- Both Straight Arms – Perform wrist circles in one direction for 15 – 20 seconds. Change direction or circles for 15 – 20 seconds.
- Both Straight Arms – Move both wrists to the right, and the to the left. Do this 10 times. The move the wrists towards the ceiling and then the floor. Do this 10 times.
Trying new things can be difficult, but losing out on business can be difficult as well. The 5 ways to stay fit that I mentioned here are simple, quick and are great to do at work or anywhere. Try to keep your priorities as you set your schedule. Don’t let inactivity and poor health keep you from pursuing your amazing potential in business. I hope that as you keep in mind that staying active is always “good for business”.
I am personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, online entrepreneur, civil engineer, author, Kathy Denise Hicks and would love to connect with you. If you are trying balance your world to incorporate effective exercise strategies and regain your health please check out my other blogs and teachings at Kathy Denise Hicks |.